On a call with reporters Thursday, Adm. Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force and the Trump official overseeing coronavirus testing, said he was concerned about data misrepresenting where he believes the United States to be in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I want to start by trying to clarify exactly where we are today as a nation,” Giroir said on the call, organized by the US Department of Health and Human Services. “I’m very concerned about the statistical shell games that are being played with the data that are misrepresenting the actual situation on the ground in the country right now.”
Giroir asserted it is clear that the number of cases are decreasing and “that decrease is real.”
He said that the seven day average of new cases, compared with the previous seven days, is down 9%.
Giroir is confident, he said, because percent positivity is going down and hospitalizations are going down. Mortality, however, is lagging – and that is because it is a lagging indicator.
The second point Giroir made, which he said he had often seen misrepresented, is the number of tests that are needed.
“You beat the virus by smart policies supplemented by strategic testing. You do not beat the virus by shotgun testing everyone all the time," he said.
Strategic testing involves making sure everyone sick in the hospital gets tested rapidly, the vulnerable are protected, public health surveillance is supported when necessary, and that reopening is being supported with a number of different measures.